Another British Horse Society c**k-up

Velcrobum

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Sad to see that the BHS hasn't evolved from its elitist attitude. I am a disabled rider but can ride iindependently at all paces, however, I cannot stand or walk unassisted as I can't support my own weight on my legs following spinal and leg damage in a car accident so need to mount from a ramp or block. Around ten years ago I wanted to do the stage one exam and my instructor advised I contact the BHS to see what medical evidence I needed to provide to use a mounting block.

I spoke to a very prominent member of the BHS with the initials JM and explained. His response is burned into my brain to this day, I quote "Oh we couldn't possibly make an exception for you. To do so would discriminate unfairly against able-bodied riders who at least tried"!!!!!

So maybe I just needed to try harder to mend my spinal injuries.

Needless to say, I did the ABRS exams instead, a much friendlier organisation all around.
That is absolutely horrific!! It is that sort of attitude that has fired up so many people, I went to the January 5th meeting with a very open mind, what happened there worried me and insulted me as a paid up member of reasonable intelligence. The chair possibly not being entirely honest in response to some questions shocked me (car allowance anyone!!) Thank heavens Bob Milton was on the ball and knew the Articles of Association.
 

JanetGeorge

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This letter has already been sent to the Chairman today by many of the signatories to the petition for a Vote of No Confidence. Any members of the who are happy with and support its content, might like to sign and send to david.sheerin@bhs.org.uk

There has been a LOT of work go into its preparation and I congratulate the prime movers on this – I know how many hours of work has been involved in double-checking all facts and trying to get the tone right.

If you are one of those with additional thoughts or concerns you would like to add, here is one suggested possibility: "Obviously, not all of us who support all of the information that those who signed the petition have managed to collate have seen everything detailed, but I have seen enough hard evidence to vote for the motion."
 

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Themis

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Sad to see that the BHS hasn't evolved from its elitist attitude. I am a disabled rider but can ride iindependently at all paces, however, I cannot stand or walk unassisted as I can't support my own weight on my legs following spinal and leg damage in a car accident so need to mount from a ramp or block. Around ten years ago I wanted to do the stage one exam and my instructor advised I contact the BHS to see what medical evidence I needed to provide to use a mounting block.

I spoke to a very prominent member of the BHS with the initials JM and explained. His response is burned into my brain to this day, I quote "Oh we couldn't possibly make an exception for you. To do so would discriminate unfairly against able-bodied riders who at least tried"!!!!!

So maybe I just needed to try harder to mend my spinal injuries.

Needless to say, I did the ABRS exams instead, a much friendlier organisation all around.
Dreadful. Sounds like you left right on going. Well done!
 

ViolettaTears

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This letter has already been sent to the Chairman today by many of the signatories to the petition for a Vote of No Confidence. Any members of the who are happy with and support its content, might like to sign and send to david.sheerin@bhs.org.uk

There has been a LOT of work go into its preparation and I congratulate the prime movers on this – I know how many hours of work has been involved in double-checking all facts and trying to get the tone right.

If you are one of those with additional thoughts or concerns you would like to add, here is one suggested possibility: "Obviously, not all of us who support all of the information that those who signed the petition have managed to collate have seen everything detailed, but I have seen enough hard evidence to vote for the motion."
We have now compared the two missives from BHS HQ and this letter. It is very evident that DS et al are avid readers of the forum. This letter shows quite clearly that part of the purpose of the DS letter was to mislead us. Just one example - Ms Suddes' case is on line for anyone who cares to read it - it was not thrown out because she didn't or might have had a case against the BHS for wrongful dismissal, but because she entered her plea a day late. If anyone from Stoneleigh is reading this - don't try and pull the wool over our eyes, because the truth will always out. Congratulations and heart felt thanks to all of those who have put so much time and effort in getting the truth out there. It is time for Changing Boards rather than Changing Lives
 

JanetGeorge

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Why the heck am I awake at 4.13am; probably because I am in shock at the actions of a couple of members who seem to think there should be no restraint in fighting against the motion of No Confidence. Last night, on the FB British Horse Society Members Group, a former Trustee posted a redacted witness statement from the successful Unfair Dismissal case 'won' by Sheila Hardy, along with a contemptuous message. Sadly, I forgot to keep a copy of the message as I just knew that this was probably unlawful and deleted without screenshotting first. A few people saw it, and another member queried the motive in posting the witness statement - thinking it wrong. A 'supporter' of the Chairman posted a defamatory post about the plaintiff who - the Court had ruled, WAS unfairly dismissed. (And that WAS screen-shotted before being deleted. ) It was disgusting behaviour by both - but the most alarming question was: Who made court documents available to the former Trustee to use in this way??? Was it done with the Chairman's knowledge??

The 'legality' (forget the moral issues) of publishing Court documents has relaxed a little in recent legal history. In a recent High Court judgement: ""there may be a legitimate public interest in the inspection not only of statements of case lodged with the court, but also, with permission, other documents such as witness statements or exhibits placed on the court file." Note the 'with permission'. With such strict GDPR rules, how did a former Trustee get these documents to 'use' in this way? Perhaps that is a question the Charity Commissioners might like the answer to! I think most members would like to know too!
 

ViolettaTears

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Why the heck am I awake at 4.13am; probably because I am in shock at the actions of a couple of members who seem to think there should be no restraint in fighting against the motion of No Confidence. Last night, on the FB British Horse Society Members Group, a former Trustee posted a redacted witness statement from the successful Unfair Dismissal case 'won' by Sheila Hardy, along with a contemptuous message. Sadly, I forgot to keep a copy of the message as I just knew that this was probably unlawful and deleted without screenshotting first. A few people saw it, and another member queried the motive in posting the witness statement - thinking it wrong. A 'supporter' of the Chairman posted a defamatory post about
the plaintiff who - the Court had ruled, WAS unfairly dismissed. (And that WAS screen-shotted before being deleted. ) It was disgusting behaviour by both - but the most alarming question was: Who made court documents available to the former Trustee to use in this way??? Was it done with the Chairman's knowledge??

The 'legality' (forget the moral issues) of publishing Court documents has relaxed a little in recent legal history. In a recent High Court judgement: ""there may be a legitimate public interest in the inspection not only of statements of case lodged with the court, but also, with permission, other documents such as witness statements or exhibits placed on the court file." Note the 'with permission'. With such strict GDPR rules, how did a former Trustee get these documents to 'use' in this way? Perhaps that is a question the Charity Commissioners might like the answer to! I think most members would like to know too!
Good morning Janet. First of all we want to congratulate you for all the work you are doing in the public interest of the members. Thank you to you and all of the team that are casting light on all this subterfuge. Utterly aghast to read your post this morning. Desperate times create desperate behavior and putting up witness statements is beyond the pale. The Judge's written judgement is the only publicly available document that we've ever seen from months ago posts. We are guessing you're talking about FH as the ex trustee, who as we all know, thinks so much of the BHS that his yard isn't and never has been BHS approved. If he really believes in the future of the BHS then why doesn't he get his yard approved then he will be in a position to really add to the debate, until then his opinions aren't really of note.
 

JanetGeorge

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Good morning Janet. First of all we want to congratulate you for all the work you are doing in the public interest of the members. Thank you to you and all of the team that are casting light on all this subterfuge. Utterly aghast to read your post this morning. Desperate times create desperate behavior and putting up witness statements is beyond the pale. .
Thanks ViolettaTears - I just wish we didn't have to do it. In the interests of total transparency (from a disgruntled ex-member with a vendetta, lol) I have e-mailed the Chairman with details of his 'friends' misdemeanours. Only fair to give him a chance to wipe the blood off the carpet.
 

ihatework

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Thanks ViolettaTears - I just wish we didn't have to do it. In the interests of total transparency (from a disgruntled ex-member with a vendetta, lol) I have e-mailed the Chairman with details of his 'friends' misdemeanours. Only fair to give him a chance to wipe the blood off the carpet.
If what you say is true (and I’m not challenging you that it’s not) but the Chairman response to this will cement my decision to vote or not.

If the BHS fail to a) distribute the recent letter and b) take appropriate action against someone publishing court papers [bearing in mind they allegedly dismissed a volunteer for publishing a ‘not confidential’ organogram] then you have my vote
 

JanetGeorge

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If what you say is true (and I’m not challenging you that it’s not) but the Chairman response to this will cement my decision to vote or not.

If the BHS fail to a) distribute the recent letter and b) take appropriate action against someone publishing court papers [bearing in mind they allegedly dismissed a volunteer for publishing a ‘not confidential’ organogram] then you have my vote
lol, don't worry, ihatework, I think I have plenty of proof of the latest lot too. Including the messages between myself and the ex-Trustee when I tried to explain to him in words of not too many syllables why I deleted his post and what my nest steps where, and he just answered with insults. And heavens, he even accused me of being thick skinned because I said I wasn't too hurt by his allegations, lol.
 

ycbm

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Since they are reading this thread, my message to the BHS is that I'm looking for an organisation whose aims I respect to give my money to, who will, while helping horses and riders in the UK & NI, give me third party insurance cover and legal advice.

I can assure you, from the clear and indisputable evidence provided that you are not acting in the interests of horses, members, employees or volunteers, that it won't be the BHS.

I'm sure I'm not alone. You need to sort this, and not in the way you are trying to do it now.
 
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ECB

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I am a life member and have just received a letter from the BHS inviting me to a meeting on June 11 to vote on a vote of confidence/ no confidence in the governing body. this is the first notification I have had of any problems. I have just read all the posts on here and had no idea at all of what has been going on.
I feel the BHS's communication with me has been poor, and what is all this about large lorries, puppets ( seriously ) and moving into China, surely we have enough welfare problems here to deal with as it is.
I don't take H and H either, perhaps I should start now.
Don't waste your money Pepino. BHS pays them a bundle (approx 80K this year) and H&H is a mouthpiece. Just look at what they posted in that little column space about mediation being declined. Mediation is not wholly appropriate when a petition is already lodged. And by the way, it was the second petition. The first one was withdrawn at the close of the 5 January meeting in the belief that the issues would begin to be addressed and that the meeting would be reconvened. The Board decided not to reconvene. Is a petition any surprise then? But what I find unacceptable as a member, is the language of the Chairman's letters. Misleading, minimising, marginalising, disrespectful and dismissive and in some place just wrong. He is clearly continuing the party line of the now resigned CEO who said everything was great and everyone was happy. Well I don't think so!
 

Velcrobum

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My membership is renewable after this EGM and the Trustee elections so I am going to make my choice when I see the new board and chair. At present I am disinclined to renew. I have found the Chairman's letters patronising and have been pointing people towards the available information so they can make their own minds up and chose to vote or not. While I did not see the now removed post that Janet refers to #1,085 I was shocked by some of the vitriol that subsequently appeared seemingly supporting the ex-trustee's actions. It would be very interesting to know how that person got hold of said documents.
 

Velcrobum

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No wonder the ex-trustee is so pro the current BHS gravy train - found on a public page !!!

**** is an enthusiastic and driven coach who has worked in the horse industry for over 20 years. Starting from local riding schools near his hometown of Southend he moved on quickly to compete horses in British Eventing competitions and British Dressage. **** has competed successfully in eventing up to 2* level and in Advanced dressage. **** is a British Horse Society senior assessor and a trainee dressage judge for British Dressage who works extensively in the UK and abroad including Ireland, USA and China
 

ECB

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No wonder the ex-trustee is so pro the current BHS gravy train - found on a public page !!!

**** is an enthusiastic and driven coach who has worked in the horse industry for over 20 years. Starting from local riding schools near his hometown of Southend he moved on quickly to compete horses in British Eventing competitions and British Dressage. **** has competed successfully in eventing up to 2* level and in Advanced dressage. **** is a British Horse Society senior assessor and a trainee dressage judge for British Dressage who works extensively in the UK and abroad including Ireland, USA and China
If you look closely, there does seem to be a self serving circle using the charity to meet their ego and financial needs. I fear the recent changes in the Companies House information regarding BHS International (China, UAE, and potentially USA) alongside the report of the recent attendance of the ex-CEO at a biosecurity meeting - with the current head of Welfare on leave - may be a signal of changes ahead. Members spoiler alert!
 

JanetGeorge

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If you look closely, there does seem to be a self serving circle using the charity to meet their ego and financial needs. I fear the recent changes in the Companies House information regarding BHS International (China, UAE, and potentially USA) alongside the report of the recent attendance of the ex-CEO at a biosecurity meeting - with the current head of Welfare on leave - may be a signal of changes ahead. Members spoiler alert!
lol, how on earth did you find it - I haven't yet! The 'search' function on Companies House is useless - searching for BHS International brought up nearly 70,000 so-called 'matches'. The first 10 appear irrelevant to this BHS.
 

ihatework

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Well I haven’t yet seen the letter officially circulated (although I do think you shot yourselves in the foot slightly drafting it so late).

Any progress on the redacted court papers being put on social media?
 

ViolettaTears

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Well I haven’t yet seen the letter officially circulated (although I do think you shot yourselves in the foot slightly drafting it so late).

Any progress on the redacted court papers being put on social media?
Eek! What the BHS wants for its next CE is now 'official' - the advert alone would be enough to scare me off. https://www.indeed.co.uk/m/viewjob?...a6OPLorsjyqgECddCkpEM_e-gN3UNnUl3mhnsX57gAqnQ
Eek! What the BHS wants for its next CE is now 'official' - the advert alone would be enough to scare me off. https://www.indeed.co.uk/m/viewjob?...a6OPLorsjyqgECddCkpEM_e-gN3UNnUl3mhnsX57gAqnQ
Three things about the CE Job Advert. First the Headhunter is predominantly an Interim Recruitment Agency, so it's database will be full of interim contacts, not candidates looking for a permanent job. Second, Indeed the free job site which is the only place the job is advertised (outside of the interim agency's own site) is used for middle to junior management, not CEs. Third, why isn't the job on Linked in or Third Sector or even the BHS Twitter and FB page or Linked in Page??? Because it's a done deal and will go to someone inside Stoneleigh Towers or an ex trustee, which will mean nothing will change. DS we know the marketing people read the forum for you, so get the advert into The Times, it will take less than 24 hours to organise and will show us that you and the board are truly committed to getting as wide a selection of candidates as possible. It's only with a new CE from OUTSIDE Stoneleigh, that the BHS has any hope at all of ever changing and allowing the staff to truly be able to say what they really think rather than being "Yes-People" to protect their mortgages incase they get fired for having a different view. Last but by no means least, the live event on FB today is going to be yet another farce with questions in advance, which won't be happening on the 11th by the way!! What are the chances of the question, "So David why did you travel First Class on Charity Money", or "Are you sacking the trustee who has broken the BHS Trustee Code of Conduct via her social media posts like you have with other staff who have privately messaged an individual?", being asked and being answered truthfully and transparently ..... About as much chance of Saddiq Khan having afternoon tea at Fortnum and Masons with Donald Trump before he goes back to the US ie Never.
 

JanetGeorge

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A couple of updates for those of you who are not on FB. This was posted n the BHS Members' Group (by me) this morning.

Thank you to a member who prompted me to have another look at the most recent letter
sent by the Chairman to members who had asked questions in the run up to the GM. Page 3 section 4 – states “ the number of voting members of the Society required to requisition a General Meeting of the Society has been increased from 12 to 0.25% of the membership…” How can this change, a written resolution, have been made without a vote?

Now – please correct me if I’m wrong – the proposal to make this change was just one of a number of changes proposed at the 5th January 2019 Meeting. Bob Milton's letter (see files ) shows that the justification for the proposed change was not as presented by the Chairman. That 5 January General Meeting was adjourned because of concerns about those changes and has never been held again so – no vote in favour - no changes made.

This does look like the Chairman spreading 'misinformation'.
 

ViolettaTears

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A couple of updates for those of you who are not on FB. This was posted n the BHS Members' Group (by me) this morning.

Thank you to a member who prompted me to have another look at the most recent letter
sent by the Chairman to members who had asked questions in the run up to the GM. Page 3 section 4 – states “ the number of voting members of the Society required to requisition a General Meeting of the Society has been increased from 12 to 0.25% of the membership…” How can this change, a written resolution, have been made without a vote?

Now - please correct me if I am wrong - the proposal to make this change was just one of a number of changes proposed at the 5th January 2019 Meeting. Bob Milton's letter (see files ) shows that the justification for the proposed change was not as presented by the Chairman. That 5 January General Meeting was adjourned because of concerns about those changes and has never been held again so – no vote in favour - no changes made.

This does look like the Chairman spreading 'misinformation'.
IT SURE DOES! History is that the board were forced to put all constitution changes on ice, after the January meeting because they hadn't followed the right procedure and that they said that there was supposed to be a second General /Members meeting to go through the potential changes to the constitution, but that rather than have a second General/Members meeting, the board elected to divide and conquer opposing members and go small and go local to try and break down the 'pockets of resistance', i.e.those members who had a different and informed view of historic and current events. So none of the constitution was or can be changed until there is another General/Members meeting. This also means by the way that the current Chairman goes in July and a new one will be elected as the constitution hasn't been changed to allow him to stay on. We have no confidence in the current trustees, including those standing down, but the danger is that one of the no-confidence trustees will become Chair rather than one of the new trustees, which is a shame as there are some rather good ones up for election. Nothing will change without a brand new Chair from the newly elected trustees and a brand new external CE, untainted from past decision making and inertia when dealing with the former CE.
 

JanetGeorge

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IT SURE DOES! History is that the board were forced to put all constitution changes on ice, after the January meeting because they hadn't followed the right procedure and that they said that there was supposed to be a second General /Members meeting to go through the potential changes to the constitution, but that rather than have a second General/Members meeting, the board elected to divide and conquer opposing members and go small and go local to try and break down the 'pockets of resistance', i.e.those members who had a different and informed view of historic and current events. So none of the constitution was or can be changed until there is another General/Members meeting. This also means by the way that the current Chairman goes in July and a new one will be elected as the constitution hasn't been changed to allow him to stay on. We have no confidence in the current trustees, including those standing down, but the danger is that one of the no-confidence trustees will become Chair rather than one of the new trustees, which is a shame as there are some rather good ones up for election. Nothing will change without a brand new Chair from the newly elected trustees and a brand new external CE, untainted from past decision making and inertia when dealing with the former CE.
ViolettaTears - you are so right. And I guess that maybe the BEST thing we can do - via this thread, and the FB Group, and the Vote of No Confidence - is impress on new Trustees, a new CEO, and Trustees that remain - that bullying staff, members and volunteers is NOT the way to head the BHS into the very successful future we ALL want it to have.
 

ECB

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DEADLINE FRIDAY - BHS members - the deadline to register to attend the general meeting or to assign your proxy vote is Friday. Your vote is your voice. Use it or lose it. PM me if you need a proxy vote or want to find out more about why this meeting was requisitioned by petition of members.
 

ViolettaTears

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Well the postal votes are in and the deadline to nominate a proxy is Sunday night. My other half and I are just sitting in the garden watching the ponies in the fields and we are discussing Plato.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase found in the work of the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–348). It is literally translated as "Who will guard the guards themselves?", though it is also known by variant translations, such as "Who watches the watchers?" and "Who'll watch the watchmen?".

The original context deals with the problem of ensuring marital fidelity, though the phrase is now commonly used more generally to refer to the problem of controlling the actions of persons in positions of power, an issue discussed by Plato in the Republic.

As members it is our job to watch the watchers; the trustees and the chairman, the CE and the Directors. Those of us who care the most are watching.
 
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